This summer when I read DOUBLE EXPOSURE, I was so taken with the book that I asked Michael Lister if he would be interested in writing a little about it for us here at the blog. Blogging is about bringing books to the attention of others, so I thought that this week would be the perfect time to have Michael visit.
If you haven't read my review, you may not know that DOUBLE EXPOSURE has a very unique style and is strikingly different from Michael's previous novels. It's also a fabulous thriller. But above all that, this novel was written with an express purpose that is very near and dear to Michael's heart. So, here he is to talk about how this novel came to be.
I Have a Dream (and a lot of work to do)!
You may say I’m a dreamer—but, obviously, I’m not the only one.
The world may not be filled with idealists like me, we may not have a strong lobby, but we’re here, in the shadows, dreaming, hoping, praying, working—that last one is key. It’s not enough to hope, to believe, to wish, we have to work, to strive, to fight.
I truly believe we have to be the change we want to see in the world. It’s not enough to dream, to be optimistic. We must take action.
I’m not just a dreamer and an optimist, I’m ambitious—not for bank or props, but for art and ideals, for the exploration and expression of truth, of what it means to be human.
I want my books to be extremely entertaining, to cause wrist injury from rapid page turning and loss of sleep because readers are compelled to finish the story before sunrise, but I also want them to inspire to impact to provoke thoughts and feelings and questions. I don’t think that’s too much to aspire to—and I think it’s what readers really want.
I’m not saying there’s not a place for diversion, for escapism, but it should be a small place, and that art or even just entertainment can enlighten even as it excites.
This is my attempt with all my novels, but even if I were to succeed in some small way, it’s not enough.
In order to be far more than just a dreamer, but to actually be a doer, I’m donating all the profits from my new novel, “Double Exposure,” to environmental protection of conservation in the Apalachicola River basin where it’s set.
“Double Exposure” takes place deep in the dangerous river swamps and is tale of life and death survival that includes reflections on art and meaning and the environment.
In the novel, wildlife photographer, Remington James, is struggling to survive and the odds are against him. I see the river system the same way—fighting to survive, and I’m trying to do my small part to make sure it does.
I’ve lived in North Florida all but four years of my life. It’s my physical and spiritual home. This land is sacred to me, its rivers flow through my veins. My home is being threatened, the fragile eco system is being destroyed by greed and corruption—poisoned, polluted, overdeveloped to the brink. How could I not use my art and the proceeds from it to do my small part to help save it?
In “Double Exposure,” one fateful fall evening, as the sun sinks and the darkness expands, wildlife photographer, Remington James, ventures deep into the river swamp to try out some new photography equipment.
While checking his camera traps, scanning the eerie images of overexposed deer and bats and foxes, Remington comes across the most haunting images of his life—the frame-by-frame capture of a shocking crime.
By exposing the criminal, Remington has exposed himself to danger, even possible extinction. Hunted like an animal, by a predator and his psychotic friends, Remington must do two things: make it through the night and make it to the river—and the odds of doing either are slim to none.
I’m so pleased with how this book turned out. It feels so good to bring some attention to the river and the swamps and the endangered species of vanishing Florida. Nothing feels better than giving—and to give my very best in this novel, then give the profits from it to help protect the land and animals it honors is indescribable.
We live in cynical times (not without justification), but I refuse to give in, to be too cool to care, to expect and accept corruption and destruction. I’m a dreamer. I aspire to art, to embodying my ideals, to doing some small part to make my little corner of the cosmos a marginally better place. You can laugh or scoff or you can join me.
“Double Exposure,” which “Booklist” calls “a spell-binding
page-turner,” is available online and at local bookstores and libraries. For
more information, go to http://www.michaellister.com/